AIP Draft: Catapult - Process Proposal
This proposal introduces a tool (Catapult) that will help us unlock the power of the ApeCoin DAO community and establish ourselves at the heart of the Web3 ecosystem.
The biggest challenge for all decentralized communities is the lack of context. Without easy ways to share who you are, what you’ve done, and to represent it to your community, it’s impossible to effectively contribute and build relationships. Without easy ways to discover key context about the community we generate unnecessary friction and reduce engagement.
Catapult resolves this, empowering the community and its members, and driving value to the ApeDAO community (and therefore to APE).
Within weeks, we could begin using it to support working group formation and we could have it fully deployed by a target date of April 10th.
The ApeCoin DAO community is powerful.
But, we can’t access that full power without overcoming a problem that even the most respected DAOs are plagued with.
That problem is the lack of context in decentralized communities. Context is what makes everything make sense; it enables collaboration, facilitates contribution, empowers governance, and so much more.
Without it, we’re working by candlelight. The touch points between all of us here are endless, but we are not yet using the best tools and systems to unlock even deeper mechanics for value creation. Introducing true and complete context into our ecosystem can enable us to drastically change how our DAO performs, and hopefully set an example for all other DAOs to come. I believe that Catapult turns on the lights.
Catapult has been built with other tier 1 DAOs, the team has proven ability to execute, and the product can help the ApeCoin community do more, together.
The Catapult product experience…
- It starts with a frictionless onboarding flow that encompasses three key elements:
- Token gate (via wallet): to ensure only verified members of the community have access
- Learn: key context shared about the DAO so new joiners can easily learn about the mission, values, governance, structure, and anything else
- Share: new joiners can add whatever context they chose to showcase to other members of the community (all but the essential fields are optional)
- This context flows into multi-faceted Web3 profiles that reflect your Web3 identity, where you contribute, and which communities you belong in without impacting pseudonymity.
Connect Wallet: as well as ensuring that everyone who is given access is a verified member of ApeCoin DAO, this element also enables Ape’s to seamlessly use NFTs as profile pictures, as well as to reveal / hide any of the NFTs in their wallet and decide who has access.
Social Discoverability: Ape’s can link to any social platforms they choose, in order to improve discoverability by other Apes in spaces like Twitter etc.
Additional Wallets: all your apes in one place!
At any point, members can easily add or remove elements and modify privacy settings that control privacy and visibility.
All data displayed in Catapult will always remain 100% the property of the user. Any user can withdraw their data and take it anywhere they choose, they can also offboard at any time. Catapult will protect their right to be forgotten.
- I added the full mockup of my profile at the end of the proposal. So you have to make it all the way through to see how good they look!
- You can see who else is there, what opportunities they are open to, and learn about them. This makes it easier to start a conversation, kick off a new collaboration, and so much more.
- All of the tools used by the DAO can be accessed from one central ‘home’. This is where things get really interesting. Eventually, our ‘home’ becomes the living portrait of our DAO and where our members’ journey begins.
- In addition to existing integrations, Catapult has also made progress exploring ApeCoin DAO specific integrations, including with Ape Gazette and POAP Voting Awards, amongst others.
Some initial ideas on what this could look like (arrows to highlight):
The team is actively initiating other discussions and will share updates in the comments on Discourse.
- Members own their data and can manage their privacy throughout. As technology evolves, the team is committed to pushing towards greater decentralization.
There are multiple reasons to implement this proposal.
Beyond the fact that there is no currently existing infrastructure for Apes to identify, understand, and contact each other.
#1: Expanding engagement & participation in ApeCoin DAO
Catapult reduces friction around participation, increases awareness around the mission and activities of the DAO, and strengthens bonds between the individuals that make up our community.
Of the 307m APE in circulation, if you exclude the first 5 proposals, the average participation across the remaining 23 proposals was only 3.5m APE each, slightly over 1% of APE in circulation. Including big decisions like whether or not to stay in the Ethereum ecosystem.
We have c.50,000 members of the ApeCoin DAO community, but our highest engagement on a Discourse proposal only had 21 people commenting.
There will always be a strong core of Apes willing to go further and contribute more. But currently the broader Ape community is too dispersed with few contact points between Apes, minimal ways to organise initiatives or co-create new ideas, etc.
Solving this is key to achieving the DAO’s vision.
#2: Reducing operational workload for ApeCoin DAO
People join a DAO excited about the possibilities, but they’re quickly lost in either a lack of information or an information firehose.
To address this, community leaders often fall back on time-intensive 1:1 calls, manual entries of information, and laborious airtable / google form data capture.
This isn’t effective, doesn’t scale, and it won’t work for ApeCoin DAO.
Catapult ensures that each (verified) new member of the DAO has a seamless and effortless onboarding. The platform guides new joiners to the right starting point(s) without manual intervention from DAO organisers.
#3: ApeCoin DAO can take its place at the heart of Web3 and shape foundational infrastructure for DAOs
One of ApeCoin DAO’s core missions is to push culture to the metaverse and ensure that Web3 is built in an accessible and responsible manner.
Catapult started building with leading DAOs like Index Coop and Aragon, and when the platform came out of closed alpha in December 2022 it expanded to 9 new communities, including Krause House, parts of Bankless DAO, Biconomy DAO, Lex DAO (note: you’ll see testimonials from these communities later in this proposal).
ApeCoin DAO can join this group and shape infrastructure that will be relevant to every single DAO and decentralized community.
The Catapult platform is built using node.js for the backend and next.js for the frontend. The team are excited about the future of decentralized databases, and monitor their progress closely. However, for now they are using Firebase for privacy and security reasons.
Otherwise the only things worth mentioning are:
Integrations - this can range from Discord, Discourse, Coordinape, Snapshot, etc. The goal is to make the end-user experience as seamless as possible whilst contextualising all the information that is needed onto a platform.
Analytics - tools like Posthog and Intercom enable them to support members, monitor and track against KPIs, and improve and iterate into a better platform.
Catapult will be responsible for providing all labor and have agreed to do this at their own expense.
I propose to bring together a steering committee of ApeCoin DAO members (‘Proposal Steering Committee’) to provide input and review.
A number of ApeCoin members have already contributed their time and insight to the development of this AIP.
Lior.eth - founder Eden Block & Mutant Cartel, Proposal Lead
Also, Wrongplace.eth, Kosto.eth, J1mmy.eth, Kobrakao.eth, Ben Mayor White, Ryan, Red Hat, Vngrd.eth, 0xSword, Vulkan, Tundra, Giacolmo.eth, and Jason Ball
We are also aware of the work being done at the moment to establish DAO working groups and would seek to involve (and empower) these groups as they form.
Rav, Greg, and the Catapult team are backed by key founders and investors across Web3 including Blockchain Capital and Eden Block (the root of my connection with the team).
That is because they understand DAOs and they have a team that can execute quickly and to impeccable standards.
Rav was a Bain strategist and EMEA Lead in Facebook, and Greg holds a PhD in Maths/Computer Science from the University of Cambridge. Greg has been thinking deeply about privacy and Web3 reputation since 2017 and has been mentored by some of the world’s leading experts in cryptography and computer science.
Across the team they have co-created a field in mathematics, built the largest decentralised newsroom in the world, built state of the art machine learning algorithms, developed award-winning video games controllers, published many papers in many journals, built and sold companies in Mongolia and Singapore, pushed the frontiers of social fintech in India and automated derivatives trading (and that’s just the fun stuff!)
Recent backers of Catapult:
Testimonials from DAOs using Catapult:
Catapult was initially in closed alpha with Index Coop and Aragon DAO:
Index Coop is the largest DeFi Index Fund and one of the leading DAOs in the Ecosystem. They also Chair the InterDAO Alliance.
‘Removing the friction and creating web3 native, intuitive onboarding platform is a game changer for us, and I believe will soon be a game changer for many other DAOs. It’s a 100x onboarding experience for us.
Rav and Greg were an incredible dream team to work with. We completely shifted our direction and rugged our roadmap (several times), they were patient, adaptable and positive outcome oriented. Incredibly excited to launch and continue evolving our onboarding flow in partnership with Catapult.’
Brad Morris, TOC Lead, Index Coop
Aragon is one of the leading DAO builder platforms and, as such, is extremely familiar with DAO tooling and best practice.
‘I’ve been working with the Catapult team for 10 months and it has been an awesome experience. Catapult ensured that anything I needed to be done was fixed right away, coming with helpful hints whenever possible, and always trying to get feedback to make Catapult better. Hopefully, it increases engagement, drives collaboration, and creates opportunities for contributors and community leaders. I can’t wait to see what comes next!’
Shawn Cubbedge, Community Steward, Aragon
In December the platforms began extending including to 9 new communities, including Krause House, Lex DAO, gm DAO, Biconomy DAO, and groups within Bankless DAO:
‘Catapult’s onboarding, rich profiles, and explore tools will help members get the most out of the amazing Krause House community. I can’t wait to see the connections, ideas, and collaboration that ensue!’
Mario Lopes, 6th Man, Krause House DAO
*‘Biconomy has a huge goal to onboard a billion Web3 users. Empowering the people in our community with tools that help them engage, connect, and contribute is crucial to us achieving that. That is why we are so pleased to partner with Catapult! *
The Catapult platform is a key tool as we work to unlock the full power of our community.’
Adrienne Moench, Head of DAO & Community, Biconomy DAO
The full platform could be deployed across the full DAO within 12 weeks.
Timeline & Milestones
Timings are subject to when this AIP moves to vote. If we could move to vote by Jan 11th, potential timing could look as follows:
- Project Kick Off: 19th January
- Pilot with WG0 and Contributors: 10th February
- General rollout decision: 10th March
- Full deployment targeted by: 10th April
Some of the KPIs Catapult will be tracking to define and assess ongoing milestones are (non-exhaustive):
- Number of members onboarded
- Profile completion / usage
- Profile views by each member
All the above are used to assess engagement on the platform, to guide iterations, and ensure it is as useful as possible to ApeCoin DAO members.
Catapult will contribute 100% of their time and labour at zero cost to ApeCoin DAO.
However, we do request an allocation of 10,000 APE for member onboarding incentives.
The full allocation would be used to incentivise members to go through the onboarding flow, which helps everyone learn more about the DAO (including basic structure, mission, values, governance, and more), build their profile, and take their first steps towards broader participation and connection in the DAO.
We are proposing that the first 5,000 members who go through this flow will each receive 2 APE.
Catapult will also provide other incentives at its own cost. This will include, for example, POAPs for early members — which the team intends to form part of future reward programs.
Catapult is a fast-growing startup backed by some of the most influential builders and investors in Web3. This team is here to ship something important for the greatest DAO in Web3. As such, I propose we shape the best tool for the DAOs of Web3 alongside this team. I see this as an incredible way to create value for our community, and greatly improve the UX of our engaged members. Onboarding into the ApeCoin DAO should be the clearest, most efficient onboarding in Web3. And for existing DAO members, we should make their experience one to remember - and an engagement worth keeping. I’m proud to propose working with a product as powerful as Catapult, and to help in the shaping of it alongside the Catapult team and the Ape Cohort mentioned above.
Full Profile Mockup